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What Does It Mean To Be Saved?

This morning I opened a new document in my word processor. I clicked on the “X” to close it. A text box popped up. It asked, “Do you want to save your work?” I said no. The document disappeared.

My wife and I were going through a drawer full of junk. She held up some old computer disks to me and asked if I wanted to save them. I said no. They were no good to me anymore. She threw them into the wastebasket.

I went to Kroger’s the other day and bought $19.70 worth of groceries. They put it all in one small plastic bag. At the bottom of the receipt were these bold words: YOU SAVED $3.75! Good. That used to mean $37.50. By the time I retire, it will mean $0.37. “Saved” doesn’t mean as much as it used to.

In fact, if you have looked at interest rates lately, you know that saving is more like losing in today’s marketplace.

If it’s that way with money, it’s getting that way with spiritual things. I found this on a blog.

I’m an atheist. I used to be a Christian when I was a kid, but then I started to question all sorts of things in my youth, and it never quite added up. So, I stopped believing in any deity. (To make a long story short.)

Anyways, I have been curious about this for a while.. I have never quite managed to grasp the concept of “salvation”. What does it mean? I was never “saved”. But Christians talk about it a lot. Any saved Christians out there who would want to tell me about how THEY got saved? What is it? How did it happen? Or Muslims, Hindus, Jews or Buddhists for that matter. Maybe you can get “saved” in other religions too? I don’t know. Haven’t heard of it, though.

I have this Christian friend of mine who is “saved”. And she says it basically means “accepting Jesus Christ as your savior and receiving him in your heart”. What does she mean by that? Is there this.. Sudden moment of enlightenment?

I don’t know.. I am just genuinely curious as to what it all means.

Lots of confusion out there. People don’t know any more. What is salvation? A transition into a different dimension? A spiritual experience? A decision? An epiphany of understanding? What happens when you are saved? What happens to you when you are saved?

Let’s see what the Bible has to say.

Acts 16:25 “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

This jailor was scared. He was about to lose the prisoners in his charge…and if he did he would probably lose his head. He would rather take his own life than fall into the hands of his superiors. It was a barbaric age. Who knows the torture and abuse he would have suffered.

But why did he ask how to be saved? Look at what happened earlier that day:

Acts 16:16-24 “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. 18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. 19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them . 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.”

I hate to admit it, but I wonder if this heathen man heard about salvation through a demonic spirit that possessed this young girl? I doubt if he knew about soteriology. He didn’t know the theological and eschatological aspects of salvation. He didn’t know about original sin, or the efficacy of the blood of Jesus, or any of the ten dollar words and phrases we throw around about salvation.

He knew these men were showing the way of salvation. He knew there was an earthquake. And now he knew that Paul and Silas had kept the prisoners from escaping and had—-for all practical purposes—-saved his hide from the Roman military tribunal. Now, he wanted to know if he could be saved.

What does the word “salvation” mean to you? The church sings “I’m saved and I know that I am…I’m so glad I know that I am.” What does that mean to you?

Philosophy has no answers. Pop psychology has no answers. Human reasoning has no answers. Politics, economics, medicine, law, entertainment, education…you name it…do not have answers.

What does it mean to be saved? You need to know what the Bible says. We are saved from some things. We are saved for some things. We are saved by some things.

We are saved from eternal death.

James 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Eternal death is the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:11-15 “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

We are saved from the tribulation period that is to come on the world.

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

2 Peter 3:10-12 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

We are saved from sin.

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

We are saved for eternal life.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Isaiah 45:17 But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

We are saved to the uttermost.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

We are saved by the complete work of Jesus Christ on Calvary .

Acts 8:34 -39 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?

35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

We are saved by accepting the work of Jesus Christ through obedience.

Acts 2:37 -38 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

He was an important man—-he still needed to be baptized.

He was a wealthy man—-he still needed to be baptized.

He was a busy man—-he still needed to be baptized.

He was searching for truth—-he found it in Jesus, and baptism in his name.

He was in an inconvenient place—-he was baptized anyway.

He humble and obedient—-that’s why he was baptized.

Salvation is greatest need in your life.

You can’t stay here, in this life forever.

Your world and your life is going to keep changing.

You don’t live in a time capsule.

You can’t save yourself.

You have absolutely no control over the external forces that are working on you.

You cannot stop the tribulation period.

You cannot delay the rapture.

You cannot seal the gates of hell shut.

You cannot wish yourself into heaven.

You cannot cancel the judgment.

You’ve got to do it God’s way.

John 10:1-10 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. 7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

You will never fully connect with life—-either present or eternal—-until you find salvation.

1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiarb people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

b peculiar: or, purchased

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